Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute at UCLA

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng


Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute at UCLA

Social entrepreneurship is all about creating businesses that do good in the world, combining making money with making a positive impact on society. For young people eager to make a difference, the Startup UCLA: Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute is a perfect opportunity. This program teaches you how to launch and manage businesses focused on solving social problems.

In this blog post, we’ll give you a complete rundown of UCLA’s Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute – what it is, where and when it takes place, and why you should join. We’ll also explain how to apply, making the process easy to understand. Our aim is to show you how this program can help you start your journey as a social entrepreneur, making the world a better place one business at a time.

What is the Startup UCLA: Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute?

The Startup UCLA: Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute is a unique program designed to teach high school students about the world of social entrepreneurship. This means learning how to start businesses and organizations that aim to solve social problems, not just to make money. It’s for students who want to make a difference by creating organizations that do good in the world. The institute focuses on teaching students how to start, build, and run nonprofit organizations and businesses that have a positive impact on society.

The goals of the program are clear: to introduce students to social entrepreneurship, help them understand the basics of starting and running a social good organization, and inspire them to create their own ventures that contribute to the greater good. This hands-on program does more than just talk about these ideas; it puts them into action. Students will learn by doing, which means designing their own social good organization from the ground up. This approach ensures that by the end of the program, every student will have firsthand experience in the creation and development of a mission-driven venture.

Diverse group of young people chatting in college library

The program’s significance lies in its practical approach to learning. In the first half, students dive into the essentials of researching and creating a venture with a clear mission to help others. This involves understanding the needs of the community they want to serve and figuring out how to meet those needs in an innovative way.

The second half of the program is even more hands-on. Students form teams and use what they’ve learned to develop their own startup ideas. This isn’t just theoretical; it’s real-world application. Each team works together to prepare a 5-minute pitch of their venture, which they then present to a panel of real entrepreneurs and investors. This is a golden opportunity for feedback from people who know what it takes to succeed in the world of social entrepreneurship.

The learning outcomes of the Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute are both broad and deep. Students will leave with a solid understanding of how to start and run a nonprofit organization or a business that makes a social impact. They’ll know how to research and develop a mission-oriented venture, work as a team to bring an idea to life, and how to communicate their vision to others effectively.

Perhaps most importantly, they’ll have the confidence that comes from having taken an idea from concept to pitch, ready to take the next steps in their journey as social entrepreneurs. This program isn’t just about teaching students; it’s about empowering them to be the change-makers of tomorrow.

Where is the Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute Being Held?

The Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute is hosted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), one of the nation’s top universities. UCLA’s campus is in Westwood, a vibrant neighborhood in Los Angeles, known for its beautiful landscapes, historic buildings, and a welcoming environment that inspires learning and innovation. The campus itself is a sprawling oasis in the bustling city, offering a mix of modern and classic architecture set among lush gardens and green spaces.

For participants of the Summer Institute, UCLA provides access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources. The program takes advantage of classrooms equipped with the latest technology, ensuring that every student can learn and work effectively. Beyond the classrooms, students can explore the vast libraries, filled with extensive collections of books, journals, and digital resources, perfect for researching their social entrepreneurship projects.

The campus also boasts collaborative workspaces where students can meet to discuss their ideas, work on their projects, and learn from each other. These spaces are designed to foster creativity and teamwork, key elements of social entrepreneurship. Additionally, UCLA’s recreational facilities, including sports fields, gyms, and pools, are available, offering students a chance to relax and recharge after a day of learning and brainstorming.

Being at UCLA means being part of a dynamic community that supports innovation and social change. The campus is not just a backdrop for the Summer Institute; it’s an integral part of the experience, providing a stimulating environment that encourages students to think big and make a real impact through their social ventures.

When Does the Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute Take Place?

The Startup UCLA: Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute offers several sessions throughout the summer to accommodate different schedules and preferences. Here’s when the program takes place:

  • Session A is a virtual session running from June 24 to July 5, 2024. This online format allows students to participate from anywhere.
  • Session B requires participants to stay on campus with mandatory housing, from July 7 to July 20, 2024.
  • Session C also includes mandatory housing on campus, taking place from July 21 to August 3, 2024.
  • Session D returns to a virtual format, happening from August 5 to August 16, 2024.

Each session, whether virtual or on-campus, is structured to immerse students in the world of social entrepreneurship over two weeks.

In the first week, the focus is on laying the groundwork for understanding entrepreneurship and its social impact. This includes lectures from experienced entrepreneurs and guest speakers, along with workshops designed to spark creative thinking about social ventures. The week concludes with students forming teams, setting the stage for their final projects.

The second week shifts towards a more hands-on approach. Students spend most of their time working in teams on their social venture projects, applying what they’ve learned in a practical setting. This week is rich in group work, supported by the instructional team, and peppered with additional lectures and insights from guest speakers to deepen the learning experience.

This schedule ensures that by the end of the institute, students have not only learned the theory behind social entrepreneurship but have also applied these concepts in creating their own social ventures, ready to make a difference in the world.

Why Should You Join the Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute?

Joining the Startup UCLA: Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute is a golden opportunity for anyone looking to make a positive impact through business. This program isn’t just about learning the ropes of starting a social enterprise; it’s about transforming yourself and the world around you. Here’s why you should consider being a part of it:

1. Skill Development

At the institute, you’ll gain a solid foundation in the essentials of social entrepreneurship. From identifying societal needs to designing solutions that are both innovative and sustainable, you’ll learn it all. Skills in research, project planning, teamwork, and pitching ideas are just the beginning. These are invaluable tools not only for starting a social venture but for any future career path you choose.

2. Networking

One of the biggest perks of attending is the chance to meet like-minded individuals. You’ll connect with peers who share your passion for making a difference, creating a network of future changemakers. Plus, interacting with experienced entrepreneurs and guest speakers gives you a rare opportunity to receive guidance, mentorship, and possibly even find a mentor who can help guide your career.

3. Personal Growth

Stepping into the world of social entrepreneurship challenges you to think creatively and empathetically. It pushes you to see the world differently, understanding the complexities of social issues and thinking critically about how to solve them. This mindset shift is a significant aspect of personal growth, fostering qualities like resilience, empathy, and leadership.

4. Professional Growth

The institute is a stepping stone into the world of social impact. The experiences you gain here – from working on real projects to presenting your ideas to experts – build a strong foundation for your professional life. Whether you choose to start your own social venture or join an existing organization, the skills and experiences from the institute will set you apart.

5. Making a Difference

Perhaps the most compelling reason to join is the opportunity to contribute to something bigger than yourself. The institute focuses on creating ventures that address social issues, offering a tangible way to impact your community or even the world.

In summary, UCLA’s Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute is more than just a summer program. It’s a transformative experience that equips you with the tools, connections, and mindset needed to embark on a journey of social entrepreneurship. It’s an invitation to be part of a community dedicated to making a positive impact and a chance to start building a future where business and social good go hand in hand.

How to Join the Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute

Joining the Startup UCLA: Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute is an exciting step for high school students interested in making a difference through social entrepreneurship. Here’s how you can be part of this transformative summer experience:

Program Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, you must be in 10th to 12th grade as of Spring 2024. It’s important that all participants are at least 15 years old by the first day of the Summer Sessions on June 24, 2024. This ensures that everyone is ready for the intensive learning and activities planned.

Registration Process Overview

Step 1: Check Your Eligibility

Make sure you meet the age and grade level requirements before you start the application process. This is crucial for your application to be considered.

Step 2: Gather Your Documents

Before you begin the online registration, you’ll need a few things:

  • An unofficial transcript from 9th grade to the present, showing a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. If your school uses a different grading system, submit your transcript as it is. If possible, include a translation or equivalency guide.
  • Prepare to write a value statement. During registration, you’ll be asked to reflect on why you want to join the UCLA Precollege Summer Institute in a few short sentences.
  • Write short essays in response to the following prompts:
    1. Why are you applying for this program? What interests you about social entrepreneurship? (250 words or less)
    2. What strengths would you bring in terms of skills, passion, and knowledge to the program? (250 words or less)
    3. Share any experience you have with social entrepreneurship, like working or volunteering with a nonprofit or a business involved in social impact (optional, 125 words or less).

Step 3: Complete the Online Registration

With your documents and essays ready, head over to the Startup UCLA application page. Fill out the application form carefully, upload your transcripts, and submit your essays and value statement.

Step 4: Submit and Wait for Confirmation

After you’ve submitted your application, all you have to do is wait for a response. The program will review your application and get back to you with a decision.

Joining the Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute is not just about meeting the eligibility criteria and submitting an application. It’s about showing your passion for social change and your readiness to learn and grow. This program is an opportunity to develop your skills, meet like-minded peers, and start on a path that could change your life and the lives of others. So, take your time with your application, be honest and thoughtful in your essays, and show us why you’re excited to be part of this journey.

How Does Joining UCLA’s Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute Cost?

Joining UCLA’s Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute comes with certain costs. The total estimated fees for the program add up to $3,602.00. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Program Fee: The cost for the program is $3,141.00. If you choose to attend a virtual session, the fee is lower, at $1,768. This fee covers the classes you’ll take as part of the institute. For those attending in person, it also includes the cost of staying in UCLA housing.
  • Registration Fee: There’s a $350.00 fee to register for the program. This is required for all participants.
  • IEI Fee: An IEI fee of $61.00 is also part of the costs.
  • Document Fee: If it’s your first time attending a Summer Session at UCLA, you’ll need to pay a one-time document fee of $50.00.

These fees include the coursework you’ll be doing at UCLA, as well as housing for those who are part of the mandatory housing program. There are also a few other campus and administrative fees that summer students might need to pay. Remember, this investment goes towards learning valuable skills in social entrepreneurship and experiencing life on the UCLA campus, all while working on projects that aim to make a positive impact on society.

When is the Deadline to Apply for UCLA’s Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute?

The deadline to apply for the Startup UCLA: Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute is coming up on June 1, 2024. If you’re planning to join this exciting program, make sure to submit your application by this date. Remember, the sooner you apply, the better, as admissions are granted on a rolling basis starting from February 15th. This means that applications are reviewed and decisions are made as they come in, so applying early increases your chances of securing a spot.

a male student using his laptop

After you’ve submitted your application, what comes next? The program team will review your application, making sure you meet all the requirements. Within three weeks of submitting your application, you can expect to receive an email letting you know whether you’ve been admitted to the program.

If you’re accepted, the next step is to confirm your enrollment. You’ll have until June 15, 2024, to complete your enrollment process. This involves any necessary paperwork and, in many cases, a deposit to secure your place in the Summer Institute. After you’ve enrolled, you’ll receive further information about the program, including what to expect, how to prepare, and any materials you might need. So, keep an eye on your inbox and get ready for an incredible summer experience at UCLA.

How Hard is it to Get Into the Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute?

Getting into UCLA’s Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute is competitive, but with the right preparation and mindset, you can enhance your chances of being selected. The program looks for students who are passionate about making a difference and are ready to dive deep into the world of social entrepreneurship. Here’s an overview of the selection criteria and some tips to help you stand out in the application process.

Selection Criteria Overview

The selection committee focuses on a few key areas when reviewing applications:

  • Academic Performance: A minimum GPA of 3.2 is required, showing your commitment and ability to handle challenging coursework.
  • Passion for Social Entrepreneurship: Your essays and value statement should reflect a genuine interest in social entrepreneurship and a desire to create positive change.
  • Teamwork and Leadership Potential: Evidence of teamwork, leadership, or initiative in projects or extracurricular activities can set you apart.
  • Creativity and Innovation: The committee looks for applicants who think creatively and are eager to develop innovative solutions to social problems.

Advice on How to Stand Out

  • Be Authentic: Share your true motivations for wanting to join the program. Authenticity resonates more than trying to say what you think the committee wants to hear.
  • Highlight Unique Experiences: If you have any experience with social entrepreneurship, volunteering, or leading projects, make sure to highlight these. Unique experiences can make your application memorable.
  • Show Your Personality: Let your personality shine through in your essays. The selection committee wants to know who you are, not just your grades and accomplishments.

The Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute is looking for students who are not only academically capable but also deeply committed to using entrepreneurship as a tool for social change.


By focusing on what makes you unique and following these tips, you can submit a strong application that captures the attention of the selection committee. Remember, this program is an opportunity to grow, learn, and contribute to a better world, so let your passion and dedication shine through your application.

Final Thoughts

Attending the Startup UCLA: Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute is more than just a summer program—it’s a step towards becoming a leader who makes a difference. With hands-on learning, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge to start ventures that solve social problems.

We encourage you to apply and seize this opportunity to grow, learn, and join a community of like-minded individuals. By becoming part of this program, you’re not just attending a summer institute; you’re joining a movement of young social entrepreneurs set on changing the world. Don’t miss your chance to be part of this inspiring community. Apply now and start your journey to making a real impact.



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